'Dancing with the Stars' topped by Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/03/2012
Dancing with the Stars judges' leaderboard was topped by Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas again during Monday night's broadcast of the fourteenth season's third performance show, which featured the Top 11 finalists telling the stories of the most memorable year of their lives through dance.
The opera singer and her professional partner finished in first place on the leaderboard for the third time in a row after they performed a waltz which received 29 out of 30 possible points -- including a pair of 10s, the first 10s of the season -- from Dancing with the Stars judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.
Jenkins and Ballas' waltz represented the year 1996 when Jenkins learned her father sadly had lung cancer and only a short time to live.
Actor and telenovela star William Levy and partner Cheryl Burke finished in second place on the judges' leaderboard with 28 points for their salsa routine, which also included one score of 10. Levy and Burke told the story of the year 1995 when the actor left Cuba and moved to the United States.
Entertainment reporter and Extra host Maria Menounos and partner Derek Hough finished in third place on the leaderboard after they danced a rumba which earned them 27 points from the judges. Menounos and Hough portrayed the year 1988 when the reporter's parents immigrated from Greece.
NFL player Donald Driver and partner Peta Murgatroyd followed closely behind Menounos and Hough in fourth place with 26 points. Driver and Murgatroyd performed a rumba routine which represented the year 2010 when the football player lost his best friend to cancer.
Actor Jaleel White and partner Kym Johnson and Disney Channel star Roshon Fegan and partner Chelsie Hightower finished tied for fifth place on the leaderboard after they both received 25 points from the judges during Monday night's show.
White -- who is best known for his role on ABC's sitcom Family Matters -- and Johnson performed a rumba routine which reflected the year 1993 when the actor gained confidence in his own life after playing the dorky character Steve Urkel's debonair alter ego Stefan. Fegan and Hightower danced the samba which symbolized the year 1996 when the young actor saw his musical idol Michael Jackson perform onstage for the first time.
Seventh place also represented a tie between five couples: Comedienne and The View co-host Sherri Shepherd and partner Val Chmerkovskiy, actor and former Melrose Place star Jack Wagner and partner Anna Trebunskaya, singer Gladys Knight and partner Tristan MacManus, singer Gavin DeGraw and partner Karina Smirnoff, and former Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. All five couples received 24 points from the judges.
Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy performed a rumba routine which symbolized the year 2005 when the comedienne's son was born prematurely with health issues and she questioned whether she could still maintain a lifestyle in which she had to make people laugh.
Wagner and Trebunskaya danced a samba which represented just last year when the actor was thrilled to learn he had a daughter whom he had never met, while Knight and MacManus performed a foxtrot routine which symbolized the year 1966 when the singer first toured with the Pips.
DeGraw and Smirnoff danced the rumba to reflect the year in which the singer saw his idol Billy Joel perform live onstage with his family and then realized he wanted to be a musician. His father helped him land some of his first singing gigs and DeGraw dedicated his performance to his supportive family.
Gilbert and Maks Chmerkovskiy portrayed the year 2010 through dancing a jive. Gilbert broke her back that year while touring with "Little House on the Prairie: The Musical," and she found it ironic to be performing in the Dancing with the Stars ballroom due to her past.
The scores of Monday night's judging leaderboard will now be combined with the home viewer voting results cast immediately afterward to determine which of the 11 couples will be eliminated on Dancing with the Stars' second fourteenth-season results show Tuesday night at 9PM ET/PT.